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A Day Tour in the Breathtaking Eastern Kyoto of Japan

A Day Tour in the Breathtaking Kyoto of Japan

Kyoto is one of the popular places to visit in Japan due to its pristine historic feels. It's where you can come across several temples and shrines that survived the bombings and air raids during the second World War. Comfort and peace surrounds the city allowing you to just be in awe of its grandeur. Further, tourists often come here in Kyoto wearing traditional clothing as a way of participating in the immersive culture of the place.

Gion-shijo Station of Keihan Railway, Kyoto

Kyoto can be accessed by multiple ways. One of which is via the Keihan Railway wherein you can take a stop in Gino-shijo Station (to access the Eastern part of Kyoto). Honestly, I didn't have much idea where to go, so I decided to just take off from the station, and aimlessly explore around.

Once you surface from the train station, you'll come across the Kamogawa River, which provides a humble view of the district. At night time, this transforms into something very magical, with lights beautifully illuminating the stretch. In fact, fancy, albeit expensive, restaurants can be found along the riverside.

The city, despite its slight business, has this "provincial" laid back feels mostly attributable to the mountainous sights and presence of historical temples.

Shijo Dori of Kyoto, Japan

I walked the direction towards the Yasaka Shrine, where the views started to shift into something more elegantly simple and humble. You may find shops and restaurants on your way to the shrine.

Shijo Dori Street of Kyoto, Japan

Inside Yasaka Shrine, you'll be greeted by street vendors selling various interesting eats such as this skewered crab stick. Unfortunately, the price may not be that street-wise, since each stick costs ¥500.

Crab Stick Skewers in Kyoto, Japan

Just to prove how serene and nature-filled the vicinity is, I came across a flock of these birds in the Yasaka Shrine, and so I immediately took out my camera to take a photo.

Photo of a pigeon like bird

Each walk into the Yasaka Shrine will reveal a more interesting scenery. During that moment, I was just adoring every sight and taking photos at the same time.

Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto, Japan
Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto, Japan
Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

There is an eye-catching predominance of red in the structures you'll encounter which allows them to really stand out in the relatively "dull" landscape, inducing more life in every picture!

Japanese red structure, Kyoto, Japan

You'll also get tempted to have your photo taken just because everything really seemed picture-perfect.

Renz Cheng in Kyoto, Japan 2016

Immersive culture of Kyoto
Parts of the shrine allow you to be immersed in the culture of Japan. One of which is this bamboo fountain. I was not exactly sure what to with it, but I noticed some tourists drinking from it using the dipper. Just to be safe, I didn't do anything but to just admire the structure.

There were also papers folded in a boomerang shape and tied in a string. I did a quick search on this, and this happened to be called O-mikuji, which acts like the "paper inside a fortune cookie". These are usually found in a Shinto shrine after offering a tribute. These papers are tied on a tree or wire to purportedly magnify the effects.

Higashiyama District
The Higashiyama District houses the streets of Kyoto that contain the preserved historic strucutures, making it a great place toyo immerse yourself in the culture of traditional old Kyoto. The most famous street among others is the one connecting Yasaka Shrine and Kiyomizudera.

Getting lost in Higashiyama District of Kyoto, Japan

You'll encounter wooden buildings and traditional shops. Restaurants, cafes, pastry and ice cream shops can be found as you traverse your way along the sloping road. Some shops also sell handcrafted items perfect for souvenirs.

Higashiyama District of Kyoto, Japan
Renz Cheng in Higashiyama District of Kyoto, Japan

I was just following the path where fellow tourists were walking, until it led me to this more tranquil place. Compared to the stark red of earlier scenes, this one has a more humble yet still elegant exterior.

Traditional structures of Kyoto Protocol
Traditional structures and wooden interior of Kyoto Protocol

This part of Kyoto enables you to really take in nature, and just ponder on things. Stroll around while meditating with the stillness of the surroundings, and eventually, realizations and peace will flow in.

Renz Cheng in Japan 2016
Photo of Eastern Kyoto, Japan
Japanese sign by the waters, Kyoto, Japan

This part catches the eye, since it's the only colorful part within the vicinity. I made another quick search and these wooden plaques are called Ema where prayers and wishes are written. It is believed that once these are hung, the spirits will be able to receive those wishes.

Japanese wishes on wooden plaques (Ema), Kyoto

Now, upon taking a short side trip, I walked back to the streets eventually leading to Kiyomizudera Temple.

Crowded street in Higashiyama going to temple, Kyoto

Within this area, it is highly common to see local and foreign tourists enjoying a good serving of a soft serve ice cream (usually in Matcha flavor). Other favorites include matcha pastries and the like.

Japanese matcha ice cream along Kyoto shops
Renz Cheng, Wander Kid Travels in Kyoto with Ice Cream

Following the crowd indeed was rewarding as I was led to this famous tourist spot. Lots of people were having their photos taken. Many of them were wearing traditional Japanese clothing. I could see how it was a "tourist spot", as it contains a lot of breathtaking views with all the structures and landscape.

Entrance to Kiyomizudera Templ, Kyoto, Japan
Winter feels in Kyoto, Japan

Since it was winter during this visit, some trees had all their leaves fallen, but this made the scenery even more lovable. In fact, my most favorite shot include one of those, and for me it added an incredibly bewildering beauty.

Best photo of Kyoto with Winter Trees

As you traverse your way up to the temple, you'll come across a lot of magical views, and if you are a photography enthusiast, you'll surely feel all giddy.

Small Bridge in Kyoto, Japan
Japanese Structures in Kyoto, Japan
Flowers about to bloom after winter - Kyoto, Japan
On the way to Kiyomizudera Temple, Kyoto, Japan

The presence of several tourists proves that this place has a lot to offer, and I for that fact, agree with it.

Kiyomizudera Temple, Kyoto, Japan
Trees in Kiyomizudera Temple, Kyoto, Japan
Kiyomizudera Temple, Kyoto, Japan

As the sun begins to hide, more is shown about the beauty of the place.

Winter trees silhouette, Kyoto, Japan
Wander Kid Travels in Eastern Kyoto, Japan

Another favorite photo that I was able to take was this one -- capturing the trees as well the pagoda-like structure in its glorious red.

Pagoda-like structure in Kyoto, Japan
Pagoda-like structure in Kyoto, Japan

Higashiyama District at Night
Honestly, I can't tell which exact part of Higashiyama District I was. I still couldn't figure it out despite me checking out Google maps even at the time of writing, but I really want to share with you how wonderful the area was especially during night time. The streets will be magically illuminated by warm lights, painting an exquisite master piece that will surely leave you in awe.

Higashiyama District at Night

Temples and shrines often close during night time, so people will start flocking back home. This explains the photo below where human traffic started to build up.

Higashiyama District at Night
Wooden Shop in Higashiyama District at Night

It's also during this time when you will begin to doubt if everything is just a dream, but you'll soon realize that despite the seemingly blur of things, you are in fact witnessing and being part of breathtaking work of art.

Kyoto, Japan Quick Guide

Things to see/do: Visit the Yasaka Shrine, and walk along the streets of Higashiiyama to experience the traditional old Kyoto, and stop by the Kiyomizudera Temple.

Budget needed: None except if you'll be entering parts wherein fees are required. Also, you may want to allot some budget for the food to fuel you throughout the day.

Is it wander-worthy? Definitely! You'll highly appreciate the pristine environment and of course the preserved historically significant structures adding more breathtaking beauty to the entire scenery.

How to get there: This part of Kyoto can be accessed via the Gion-Shijo Station of the Keihan Railway. Afterwards, you may walk your way around. For detailed directions, you may want to check out and follow the Google maps below.

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